Tag Archives: university

National Space Society

Posted: September 22, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Our Vision: People living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth, and the use of the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity.

The Society publishes Ad Astra magazine and maintains an active global network of volunteers and local chapters. Membership and participation are open to all. Join the space movement, and help build a positive future for humanity!

Enterprise In Space: A Tutor for Every Child, video presentation for the MacArthur Foundation 100&Change Grant.

The President of the National Space Society describes how many children around the world lack access to a basic education and how ValueSpring Technology is developing an artificial intelligence that will be a tutor for each person, thus helping to bring about the world that Gene Roddenberry imagined, where everyone is able to contribute to his or her full potential. This project is being submitted in competition for a $100 million MacArthur Foundation grant to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time.

Elon Musk talk Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species to be webcast September 27

On Tuesday September 27, on the second day of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, Elon Musk will deliver a special keynote presentationonMaking Humans a Multiplanetary Species.

Musk will discuss the long-term technical challenges that need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars. The technical presentation will focus on potential architectures for colonizing the Red Planet that industry, government and the scientific community can collaborate on in the years ahead.

The presentation is scheduled for one hour beginning at 2:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 1:30 PM Central Daylight Time (Guadalajara), 12:30 PM Mountain Daylight Time, and 11:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time.

This and other IAC plenary sessions will be webcast on thisdirect link to IAC webcasts on livestream.com. For a schedule of other sessionssee theIAC website plenaries and highlight lectures page.

National Space Society Congratulates NASA, ULA, and Lockheed Martin on the Successful Launch of OSIRIS-REx

(Washington, DC — September 9, 2016) With the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 411 on September 8 at 7:05 PM EST, 2016 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, NASAs mission to travel to a near Earth asteroid and return a sample got underway. NSS congratulates the team who made this happen. OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer.

OSIRIS-REx has NSS members really excited, said Bruce Pittman, NSS Senior Vice President. The craft will provide a complete map of the chemistry and mineralogy of a carbon based asteroid. Such asteroids will be critical for both the economic development and settlement of space. The TAGSAM sample collection device may provide a foundation for the development of future asteroid mining robots. Dante Lauretta, the OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, and his team at the University of Arizona have put together a really impressive mission.

See full press release.

National Space Society Urges Renewed Commitment to Competition and Reusability Following Falcon 9/Amos 6 Incident

(Washington, DC — September 6, 2016) At about 9:07 AM September 1, 2016, during preparation for a routine static fire test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, an explosion resulted in the loss of both the F9 and the satellite payload. At this time there are no reports of injuries in the incident. Although Elon Musk has reported that the explosion Originated around [the] upper stage oxygen tank the cause remains unknown.

Clearly this incident is a setback for SpaceX, said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President. However, it emphasizes the wisdom of NASA in supporting multiple cargo and crew carriers to the International Space Station. NASA deserves the highest praise for holding fast to supporting multiple providers with dissimilar vehicles to provide both competition and redundancy. NSS looks forward to the return to flight of the Orbital ATK Antares rocket hauling cargo to the ISS later this year, and welcomes the addition of Sierra Nevadas Dreamchaser to the list of ISS cargo haulers.

See full press release.

National Space Society Book Project: Space 2.0

(Washington, DC — July 25, 2016) The National Space Society has contracted with space historian and author Rod Pyle to write a new book entitledSpace 2.0. This new book will embark on a compelling narrative about the future development, exploration and settlement of the final frontier. NSS plans to use the finished volume as a primary tool for outreach and STEM/STEAM educational efforts, as well as supporting the organization in the broader marketplace. See full announcement.

The National Space Society Applauds Alan Stern Winning the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal

(Washington, DC — July 19, 2016) The National Space Society congratulates Dr. Alan Stern on winning the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. This award is the highest honor that NASA can bestow. NSS has also awarded one of our highest honors to Dr. Stern, the NSS Wernher von Braun Award, which he received at our International Space Development Conference last May in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dr. Stern was Principal Investigator of NASAs New Horizons mission to Pluto. See full press release.

National Space Society Applauds SpaceX Launch of IDA to the ISS and successful RTLS of the Falcon 9 First Stage

(Washington, DC — July 18, 2016) With a successful launch on July 18 at 12:45 AM EST, 2016 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, SpaceX achieved several dramatic milestones on the Commercial Resupply Services 9 mission (CRS-9). In addition to supplies and experiments in the pressurized part of the Dragon, an unpressurized trunk houses the 1,028 lb (467 kilogram) International Docking Adaptor (IDA), manufactured by Boeing. The IDA, once attached to the International Space Station (ISS) will be the connecting point for Boeings CST-100 Starliner and SpaceXs Crewed Dragon 2 spacecraft as they bring American astronauts to the ISS on American-built and operated vehicles for the first time since the end of the Space Shuttle program. See full press release.

The National Space Society Congratulates Boeing on 100 Years of Aerospace Excellence

(Washington, DC — July 16, 2016) NSS congratulates the Boeing Company on reaching its 100th anniversary, and doing so while continuing to be the world leader in the aerospace business. NSS was very happy to view the recent Boeing You Just Wait commercial (below), and to hear the words of Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who said Friday, In another 100 years, we might make daily trips to space, fly across the globe in less than an hour, or receive unlimited clean power from solar satellites. See full press release.

The National Space Society Pays Tribute to the Space Policy Leadership of Former FAA Leader Patricia Grace Smith

(Washington, DC — June 14, 2016) The National Space Society celebrates the life and contributions of a visionary champion of the commercial space industry and human space settlement, the Honorable Patricia Grace Smith. Ms. Smith unexpectedly passed away on June 5th, after quietly fighting pancreatic cancer over the last year.

The commercial space industry owes a huge debt to Patti Grace Smith whose years of determined and well-reasoned advocacy combined with her natural charm and grace won over many converts in government and fostered the birth of a new industry. There might not be a commercial space flight industry were it not for Pattis leadership, said Bruce Pittman, Senior Operating Officer of the National Space Society.

See full press release.

Smithsonian Science Education Center and NSS Team Up for Next-Generation Space Education Program Enterprise In Space

(Washington, DC — May 11, 2016) Enterprise In Space (EIS), an international program of the National Space Society, is excited to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC). EIS and SSEC plan to collaborate on two projects dedicated to space education. The first is a mission patch design challenge in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education to present at Space Day at the National Air and Space Museum, tentatively set to occur this summer. The second is the development of a space science summer course for the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs) that will enrich and enhance space education in the participating educators classrooms. See full press release.

NSS Applauds SpaceX for Successful Drone Ship Landing and Launch of CRS-8/BEAM

(Washington, DC — April 8, 2016) With a successful launch on April 8, SpaceX achieved several dramatic milestones. In this mission it is hard to know what to be the most excited about, said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President. SpaceX continues to break new ground in lowering the cost of going into space, and the drone ship landing is key to maximizing the amount that can be lifted into space by a first stage that is flying back to Earth. BEAM will pave the way for more affordable future commercial and deep space stations. See full press release.

The Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement Act of 2016

(Washington, DC — March 25, 2016) The Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement Act of 2016 (H.R. 4752) has been introduced by Congressman DanaRohrabacher to require the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to investigateand promote the exploration and development of space leading to humansettlements beyond Earth, and for other purposes.

The National Space Societyurges you to call or write your Congressional Representative today and request that he or sheco-sponsor H.R. 4752 (the Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement Act of 2016). Youshould specifically ask that the space staffer for yourRepresentative should contact Tony DeTora in Congressman Rohrabachers office to become a co-sponsor.

The full text of the bill can be found here:nss.org/sedsact. More information on the NSS Blog.

Space Solar Power Team Breaks Through at D3 Innovation Summit

(Washington, DC — March 7, 2016) The National Space Society congratulates the Space Solar Power D3 (SSPD3) team on sweeping the awards in a March 2 multi-departmental competition to find promising new technology ideas that could simultaneously advance diplomacy, defense and development (D3). The SSPD3 team proposal was titled Carbon-Free Energy for Global Resilience and International Goodwill. See full press release and video of the 11-minute presentation below.

The Gravity of the National Space Societys Vision

(Washington, DC — February 15, 2016) We are very proud and honored to congratulate the amazing achievement of our NSS member Dr. Kip Thorne for his leading involvement in the creation of the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) project. LIGOs recent world-changing detection of the existence of gravitational waves predicted by Einstein a century ago in his General Relativity Theory.

Regarding the grand NSS vision, Dr. Thorne remarked, I think that its clear that it is attainable to colonize the solar system. Getting beyond the solar system is going to be exceedingly difficult. We are going to either require a lot of brute force over a period of several centuries or else a brilliant idea that none of us has grasped yet. The first thing is the solar system, but we have not been moving at anything like the pace that we could or we should. See full press release.

NSS Pays Tribute to Late NSS Governor Dr. Marvin Minsky, A Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence

(Washington, DC — February 11, 2016) The National Space Society pays tribute toDr. Marvin Minsky, who was very involved in early NSS activities and was part of many NSS space policy projects such as the 1981 Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy. He died on January 14 in Boston from a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 88. Hugh Downs, Chair of the NSS Board of Governors, said, Marvin Minskywas a bright light in the arena of accelerating knowledge in modern physics. Where many of us plodded along to keep up with these changes, he seemed to always manage tobe evenwith them. He will be sorely missed by those who worked with him and knew him well. See full press release.

Settling Space Is the Only Sustainable Reason for Humans to Be in Space

(Washington, DC — February 1, 2016) Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President, has published the following article in The Space Review:

As robotic and artificial intelligence technologies improve and enable increasingly robust exploration without a human presence, eventually there will be only one sustainable reason for humans to be in space: settlement. Research into the recycling technology required for long-term off-Earth settlements will directly benefit terrestrial sustainability. Actively working toward developing and settling space will make available mineral and energy resources for use on Earth on a vast scale. Finally, space settlement offers the hope of long-term species survival that remaining on Earth does not. SEE FULL ARTICLE.

National Space Society Congratulates Blue Origin on First Reflight of New Shepard Rocket

(Washington, DC — January 23, 2016) On January 22, 2016, two months after Blue Origins New Shepard rocket first successfully flew to the edge of space and returned to its launch site intact, Blue Origin again made history by re-flying the same vehicle. Jeff Bezos stated Though wings and parachutes have their adherents and their advantages, Im a huge fan of rocket-powered vertical landing. Why? Becauseto achieve our vision of millions of people living and working in spacewe will need to build very large rocket boosters. And the vertical landing architecture scales extraordinarily well.

Blue Origins successful re-use of the New Shepard booster after reaching the edge of space represents a major step toward a fully re-usable sub-orbital vehicle, said Bruce Pittman, NSS Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. SEE FULL PRESS RELEASE AND VIDEO on the NSS Blog.

National Space Society Applauds Selection of Dream Chaser, Dragon 2, and Cygnus for ISS Cargo Services

(Washington, DC — January 16, 2016) NSS congratulates Orbital ATK (Cygnus), Sierra Nevada (Dream Chaser), and SpaceX (Dragon 2) for being selected to provide cargo services to the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Resupply Service 2 (CRS-2) contract. The CRS contract covers the delivery of supplies to the ISS, disposal of ISS waste, and the return of scientific samples from the ISS. The new contract provides a minimum of six missions to each of the three winners during the period 2019-2024. A NASA spokesperson said, NASAs service contracts to resupply the space station have changed the way the agency does business in low-Earth orbit. With these contracts, NASA continues to advance commercial spaceflight and the American jobs it creates.

This announcement represents a major forward advance for NASA and the CRS program, said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President. Both Orbital ATK and SpaceX added significant new capabilities over the first contract. In the new contract, the up-sized Cygnus with new solar panels will be used, and the Dragon 2 offers options for both berthing and docking, along with a rapid return to Earth capacity via propulsive landing. However, the selection of Sierra Nevada and the Dream Chaser means that for the first time since the retirement of the Space Shuttle reusable winged vehicles will be returning from space and landing at Kennedy Space Center.

NSS congratulates NASA on adding a third CRS provider, said Mark Hopkins, Chair of the NSS Executive Committee. The CRS-2 program now has triple redundancy in both orbital components and launch vehicles. NSS members look forward to the Dream Chasers first return from space. See full press release.

Interviews of NSS Chairman Mark Hopkins

Mark Hopkins, Chairman of the NSS Executive Committee, was interviewed on The Space Show on January 4 on the subject of space settlement in general and interstellar space settlement in particular. You can downloadthe 90-minute program here: thespaceshow.com/show/04-jan-2016/broadcast-2617.

You can hear other interviews of Mark conducted byDr. Karl Hricko on the show Contours on member-supported public radio station WNTIoperated by Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ: Mark Hopkins interview August 23, 2015 (14 minutes) and Mark Hopkins interview May 28, 2015 (21 minutes).

Mark was also on a special edition of The Space Show in March 2007: thespaceshow.com/show/10-mar-2007/broadcast-683-special-edition.

National Space Society Partners with Voices From L5: A Space Settlement Podcast

(Washington, DC — January 6, 2016) The National Space Society is proud to announce its partnership withVoices From L5. This exciting new podcast will open new discussions on space settlement, focusing on the humanities and social sciences, and educate the public on the science of space settlement. Space settlement is the concept of humankind moving our economy into space, with people living and working in space.

NSS vice president for Public Affairs Lynne Zielinski said, We are thrilled to strengthen our online community and outreach by branching into the vibrant world of podcasts, and we are very excited to be working withVoices From L5. This podcast project will explore topics such as law, art, politics and sociology to generate excitement among a whole new generation of space settlement enthusiasts.

To learn more aboutVoices From L5visit: https://www.patreon.com/VoicesFromL5

For previous podcasts visit: http://www.podcastchart.com/podcasts/voices-from-l5

Made In Space Teams with Enterprise In Space to 3D Print First Space-Bound Airframe

(Washington, DC — December 18, 2015) Enterprise In Space (EIS), an international project of the non-profit National Space Society, is excited to announce a partnership with Made In Space, Inc. to extensively use 3D printed components in a spacecraft to be launched into Earth orbit. This educational spacecraft will be the first real spacecraft bearing the Enterprise name. Once in orbit, the NSS Enterprise will not only be the first 3D printed airframe in space, but it will also carry more than 100 passive and active student experiments into space and back to Earth.

See full press release.

The National Space Society Pays Tribute to Dr. Kalam One of Our Leading Lights Has Joined the Stars

(Washington, DC — July 31, 2015) On 27 July 2015, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, eleventh President of India and a friend and inspiration to the National Space Society (NSS), passed away. NSS would like to convey our condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Kalam, and to all of India. His death is a great loss not only to India, but to the whole of humanity, said Mark Hopkins, chair of the NSS Executive Committee. In his honor, a permanent part of the online NSS library will be dedicated to his visionary space legacy. He was a true friend to NSS giving his name to our shared Kalam-NSS Space-based Solar Power Initiative.

One of the true statesmen of our generation, Dr. Kalam was regarded as one of the greatest minds, visionaries, and peacemakers of the early 21stcentury. Dr. Kalam was a towering spacefaring advocate. His passing is a deep loss to NSS. Loved and admired by the masses of India, he was loved and admired by us as well. We were honored to work with him and to present him with our 2013 Wernher von Braun Memorial Award (photo) for leading India into space and for being a global leader in space development. He will be missed terribly by all around the world who share a common vision of humanitys future in space.

See full press release.

NASA-Funded Study Reduces Cost of Human Missions to Moon and Mars by Factor of Ten

(Washington, DC — July 20, 2015) The National Space Society (NSS) and Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) today announced their support for NASAs funding of the newly released NexGen Space study, illustrating how to cut the cost of human space exploration by a factor of 10. The study, Economic Assessment and Systems Analysis of an Evolvable Lunar Architecture that Leverages Commercial Space Capabilities and Public Private Partnerships, finds public-private partnerships are able to return humans to the Moon for approximately 90% less than the previously estimated $100 billion, allowing the United States to ensure national security in a new space age.

NSS congratulates NASA for funding the team at NexGen that discovered how such cost reductions are possible, said NSS Executive Committee Chair, Mark Hopkins. A factor of ten reduction in cost changes everything.

See full press release and video of press conference.

Read more here:
National Space Society

Posted in Space Station | Comments Off on National Space Society

Problem gambling – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: September 20, 2016 at 7:19 pm

Problem gambling (or ludomania, but usually referred to as “gambling addiction” or “compulsive gambling”) is an urge to gamble continuously despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. Problem gambling is often defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler’s behavior. Severe problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical pathological gambling if the gambler meets certain criteria. Pathological gambling is a common disorder that is associated with both social and family costs.

The DSM-5 has re-classified the condition as an addictive disorder, with sufferers exhibiting many similarities to those who have substance addictions. The term gambling addiction has long been used in the recovery movement.[1] Pathological gambling was long considered by the American Psychiatric Association to be an impulse control disorder rather than an addiction.[2] However, data suggest a closer relationship between pathological gambling and substance use disorders than exists between PG and obsessive-compulsive disorder, largely because the behaviors in problem gambling and most primary substance use disorders (i.e., those not resulting from a desire to “self-medicate” for another condition such as depression) seek to activate the brain’s reward mechanisms while the behaviors characterizing obsessive-compulsive disorder are prompted by overactive and misplaced signals from the brain’s fear mechanisms.[3]

Research by governments in Australia led to a universal definition for that country which appears to be the only research-based definition not to use diagnostic criteria: “Problem gambling is characterized by many difficulties in limiting money and/or time spent on gambling which leads to adverse consequences for the gambler, others, or for the community.”[8] The University of Maryland Medical Center defines pathological gambling as “being unable to resist impulses to gamble, which can lead to severe personal or social consequences”.[9]

Most other definitions of problem gambling can usually be simplified to any gambling that causes harm to the gambler or someone else in any way; however, these definitions are usually coupled with descriptions of the type of harm or the use of diagnostic criteria.[citation needed] The DSM-V has since reclassified pathological gambling as “gambling disorder” and has listed the disorder under substance-related and addictive disorders rather than impulse-control disorders. This is due to the symptomatology of the disorder resembling an addiction not dissimilar to that of substance-abuse.[10] There are both environmental and genetic factors that can influence on gambler and cause some type of addiction.[11] In order to be diagnosed, an individual must have at least four of the following symptoms in a 12-month period:[12]

According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, evidence indicates that pathological gambling is an addiction similar to chemical addiction.[13] It has been observed that some pathological gamblers have lower levels of norepinephrine than normal gamblers.[14] According to a study conducted by Alec Roy, formerly at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, norepinephrine is secreted under stress, arousal, or thrill, so pathological gamblers gamble to make up for their under-dosage.[15]

According to a report from Harvard Medical School’s division on addictions, there was an experiment constructed where test subjects were presented with situations where they could win, lose, or break even in a casino-like environment. Subjects’ reactions were measured using fMRI, a neuroimaging technique. And according to Hans Breiter, co-director of the Motivation and Emotion Neuroscience Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, “monetary reward in a gambling-like experiment produces brain activation very similar to that observed in a cocaine addict receiving an infusion of cocaine.”[16][17] Studies have compared pathological gamblers to substance addicts, concluding that addicted gamblers display more physical symptoms during withdrawal.[18]

Deficiencies in serotonin might also contribute to compulsive behavior, including a gambling addiction.[19] There are three importat points discovered after these antidepressant studies:[20]

A limited study was presented at a conference in Berlin, suggesting opioid release differs in problem gamblers form the general population, but in a very different way from alcoholics or other substance abusers.[21]

The findings in one review indicated the sensitization theory is responsible.[22] Dopamine dysregulation syndrome has been observed in the aforementioned theory in people with regards to such activities as gambling.[23]

Some medical authors suggest that the biomedical model of problem gambling may be unhelpful because it focuses only on individuals. These authors point out that social factors may be a far more important determinant of gambling behaviour than brain chemicals and they suggest that a social model may be more useful in understanding the issue.[24] For example, an apparent increase in problem gambling in the UK may be better understood as a consequence of changes in legislation which came into force in 2007 and enabled casinos, bookmakers, and online betting sites to advertise on TV and radio for the first time and which eased restrictions on the opening of betting shops and online gambling sites.[25]

Pathological gambling is similar to many other impulse control disorders such as kleptomania.[26] According to evidence from both community- and clinic-based studies, individuals who are pathological gamblers are highly likely to exhibit other psychiatric problems concurrently, including substance use disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, or personality disorders.[27]

Pathological gambling shows several similarities with substance abuse. There is a partial overlap in diagnostic criteria; pathological gamblers are also likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs. The “telescoping phenomenon” reflects the rapid development from initial to problematic behavior in women compared with men. This phenomenon was initially described for alcoholism, but it has also been applied to pathological gambling. Also biological data provide a support for a relationship between pathological gambling and substance abuse.[28]

In a 1995 survey of 184 Gamblers Anonymous members in Illinois, Illinois State professor Henry Lesieur found that 56 percent admitted to some illegal act to obtain money to gamble. Fifty-eight percent admitted they wrote bad checks, while 44 percent said they stole or embezzled money from their employer.[29] Compulsive gambling can affect personal relationships. In a 1991 study of relationships of American men, it was found that 10% of compulsive gamblers had been married more than twice. Only 2% of men who did not gamble were married more than twice.[30] According to statistics by the BGM (British Medical Journal), families of problem gamblers are more likely to experience child abuse or other forms of domestic violence.[31]

A gambler who does not receive treatment for pathological gambling when in his or her desperation phase may contemplate suicide.[32] Problem gambling is often associated with increased suicidal ideation and attempts compared to the general population.[33][34]

Early onset of problem gambling increases the lifetime risk of suicide.[35] However, gambling-related suicide attempts are usually made by older people with problem gambling.[36] Both comorbid substance use[37][38] and comorbid mental disorders increase the risk of suicide in people with problem gambling.[36] A 2010 Australian hospital study found that 17% of suicidal patients admitted to the Alfred Hospital’s emergency department were problem gamblers.[39] In the United States, a report by the National Council on Problem Gambling showed approximately one in five pathological gamblers attempt suicide. The council also said that suicide rates among pathological gamblers were higher than any other addictive disorder.[40]

David Phillips, a sociologist from the University of California-San Diego, found “visitors to and residents of gaming communities experience significantly elevated suicide levels”. According to him, Las Vegas, the largest gaming market in the United States, “displays the highest levels of suicide in the nation, both for residents of Las Vegas and for visitors to that setting”. In Atlantic City, the second-largest gaming market, he found “abnormally high suicide levels for visitors and residents appeared only after gambling casinos were opened”.[41]

Several psychological mechanisms are thought to be implicated in the development and maintenance of problem gambling.[42] First, reward processing seems to be less sensitive with problem gamblers. Second, some individuals use problem gambling as an escape from the problems in their lives (an example of negative reinforcement). Third, personality factors play a role, such as narcissism, risk-seeking, sensation-seeking and impulsivity. Fourth, problem gamblers suffer from a number of cognitive biases, including the illusion of control,[43] unrealistic optimism, overcondence and the gambler’s fallacy (the incorrect belief that a series of random events tends to self-correct so that the absolute frequencies of each of various outcomes balance each other out). Fifth, problem gamblers represent a chronic state of a behavioral spin process, a gambling spin, as described by the criminal spin theory.[44]

The most common instrument used to screen for “probable pathological gambling” behavior is the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) developed by Lesieur and Blume (1987) at the South Oaks Hospital in New York City.[45] In recent years the use of SOGS has declined due to a number of criticisms, including that it overestimates false positives (Battersby, Tolchard, Thomas & Esterman, 2002).

The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria presented as a checklist is an alternative to SOGS, it focuses on the psychological motivations underpinning problem gambling and was developed by the American Psychiatric Association. It consists of ten diagnostic criteria. One frequently used screening measure based upon the DSM-IV criteria is the National Opinion Research Center DSM Screen for Gambling Problems (NODS). The Canadian Problem Gambling Inventory (CPGI) and the Victorian Gambling Screen (VGS) are newer assessment measures. The Problem Gambling Severity Index, which focuses on the harms associated with problem gambling, is composed of nine items from the longer CPGI.[46] The VGS is also harm based and includes 15 items. The VGS has proven validity and reliability in population studies as well as Adolescents and clinic gamblers.

Most treatment for problem gambling involves counseling, step-based programs, self-help, peer-support, medication, or a combination of these. However, no one treatment is considered to be most efficacious and no medications have been approved for the treatment of pathological gambling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Only one treatment facility[47] has been given a license to officially treat gambling as an addiction, and that was by the State of Virginia.[48]

Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a commonly used treatment for gambling problems. Modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, GA uses a 12-step model that emphasizes a mutual-support approach. There are three in-patient treatment centers in North America.[49] One form of counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to reduce symptoms and gambling-related urges. This type of therapy focuses on the identification of gambling-related thought processes, mood and cognitive distortions that increase one’s vulnerability to out-of-control gambling. Additionally, CBT approaches frequently utilize skill-building techniques geared toward relapse prevention, assertiveness and gambling refusal, problem solving and reinforcement of gambling-inconsistent activities and interests.[50]

As to behavioral treatment, some recent research supports the use of both activity scheduling and desensitization in the treatment of gambling problems.[51] In general, behavior analytic research in this area is growing [52] There is evidence that the SSRI paroxetine is efficient in the treatment of pathological gambling.[53] Additionally, for patients suffering from both pathological gambling and a comorbid bipolar spectrum condition, sustained release lithium has shown efficacy in a preliminary trial.[54] The opioid antagonist drug nalmefene has also been trialled quite successfully for the treatment of compulsive gambling.[55]

Other step-based programs are specific to gambling and generic to healing addiction, creating financial health, and improving mental wellness. Commercial alternatives that are designed for clinical intervention, using the best of health science and applied education practices, have been used as patient-centered tools for intervention since 2007. They include measured efficacy and resulting recovery metrics.[medical citation needed]

Motivational interviewing is one of the treatments of compulsive gambling. The motivational interviewing’s basic goal is promoting readiness to change through thinking and resolving mixed feelings. Avoiding aggressive confrontation, argument, labeling, blaming, and direct persuasion, the interviewer supplies empathy and advice to compulsive gamblers who define their own goal. The focus is on promoting freedom of choice and encouraging confidence in the ability to change.[56]

A growing method of treatment is peer support. With the advancement of online gambling, many gamblers experiencing issues use various online peer-support groups to aid their recovery. This protects their anonymity while allowing them to attempt recovery on their own, often without having to disclose their issues to loved ones.[medical citation needed]

Research into self-help for problem gamblers has shown benefits.[57] A study by Wendy Slutske of the University of Missouri concluded one-third of pathological gamblers overcome it by natural recovery.[58]

According to the Productivity Commission’s 2010 final report into gambling, the social cost of problem gambling is close to 4.7 billion dollars a year. Some of the harms resulting from problem gambling include depression, suicide, lower work productivity, job loss, relationship breakdown, crime and bankruptcy.[59] A survey conducted in 2008 found that the most common motivation for fraud was problem gambling, with each incident averaging a loss of $1.1 million.[59]

In Europe, the rate of problem gambling is typically 0.5 to 3 percent.[60] The “British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007”, conducted by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, found approximately 0.6 percent of the adult population had problem gambling issuesthe same percentage as in 1999.[61] The highest prevalence of problem gambling was found among those who participated in spread betting (14.7%), fixed odds betting terminals (11.2%) and betting exchanges (9.8%).[61] In Norway, a December 2007 study showed the amount of present problem gamblers was 0.7 percent.[62]

In the United States, the percentage of pathological gamblers was 0.6 percent, and the percentage of problem gamblers was 2.3 percent in 2008.[63] Studies commissioned by the National Gambling Impact Study Commission Act has shown the prevalence rate ranges from 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent.[64] Nevada has the highest percentage of pathological gambling; a 2002 report estimated 2.2 to 3.6 percent of Nevada residents over the age of 18 could be called problem gamblers. Also, 2.7 to 4.3 percent could be called probable pathological gamblers.[65]

According to a 1997 meta-analysis by Harvard Medical School’s division on addictions, 1.1 percent of the adult population of the United States and Canada could be called pathological gamblers.[66] A 1996 study estimated 1.2 to 1.9 percent of adults in Canada were pathological.[67] In Ontario, a 2006 report showed 2.6 percent of residents experienced “moderate gambling problems” and 0.8 percent had “severe gambling problems”.[68] In Quebec, an estimated 0.8 percent of the adult population were pathological gamblers in 2002.[69] Although most who gamble do so without harm, approximately 6 million American adults are addicted to gambling.[70]

Signs of a gambling problem include:[medical citation needed]

Both casinos and poker machines in pubs and clubs facilitate problem gambling in Australia. The building of new hotels and casinos has been described as “one of the most active construction markets in Australia”; for example, AUD$860 million was allocated to rebuild and expand the Star Complex in Sydney.[71]

A 2010 study, conducted in the Northern Territory by researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) and Southern Cross University (SCU), found that the proximity of a person’s residence to a gambling venue is significant in terms of prevalence. Harmful gambling in the study was prevalent among those living within 100 metres of any gambling venue, and was over 50% higher than among those living ten kilometres from a venue. The study’s data stated:

“Specifically, people who lived 100 metres from their favourite venue visited an estimated average of 3.4 times per month. This compared to an average of 2.8 times per month for people living one kilometre away, and 2.2 times per month for people living ten kilometres away”.[72]

According to the Productivity Commission’s 2010 report into gambling, 0.5% to 1% (80,000 to 160,000) of the Australian adult population suffered with significant problems resulting from gambling. A further 1.4% to 2.1% (230 000 to 350 000) of the Australian adult population experienced moderate risks making them likely to be vulnerable to problem gambling.[73] Estimates show that problem gamblers account for an average of 41% of the total gaming machine spending.[74]

Continued here:

Problem gambling – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted in Gambling | Comments Off on Problem gambling – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nanotech 2016 Conference – TechConnect World 2016

Posted: at 7:15 pm

Join us in Washington DC for the 18th annual Nanotech 2016 Conference & Expo, co-located with the TechConnect World Innovation Conference, National Innovation Summit and National SBIR/STTR Conference. On behalf of our symposium organizers we warmly invite you to submit your research abstract and participate in this exciting international event.

Lloyd Whitman OSTP, Executive Office of the President

Stefanie Harvey TE Connectivity

Piotr Grodzinski National Cancer Institute

Harriet Kung Department of Energy

Dorothee Martin Saint-Gobain

Lisa Friedersdorf National Nanotechnology Coordination Office

Ara Nazarian Harvard Medical School

Thomas Gillespie In-Q-Tel

Stefanie Harvey TE Connectivity

Rushan Sakhibgareev Chevron

Prantik Mazumder Corning

Prithwiraj Maitra Johnson and Johnson

Steven Zullo NIBIB/NIH

Martin Schoeppler FUJIFILM Dimatix

Mike Cameron Sherwin Williams

Loucas Tsakalakos GE Global Research

Johan Pluyter International Flavors & Fragrances

Mandakini Kanugo Xerox Innovation Group

Jessica Tucker NIBIB

Brent Segal Lockheed Martin

YuanQiao Rao The Dow Chemical Company

Paul Vogt Momentive

Nicole F. Steinmetz Case Western Reserve University

Imre Gyuk DOE

Marcellino Gemelli Bosch Sensortec

Susana Addo Ntim US FDA

Lewis Sloter DOD

Loucas Tsakalakos GE Global Research

See the original post here:

Nanotech 2016 Conference – TechConnect World 2016

Posted in Nanotech | Comments Off on Nanotech 2016 Conference – TechConnect World 2016

Nanotech 2017 – techconnectworld.com

Posted: at 7:15 pm

Join us in Washington DC for the 20th annual Nanotech 2017 Conference & Expo, co-located with the TechConnect World Innovation Conference, National Innovation Summit and National SBIR/STTR Conference. On behalf of our symposium organizers we warmly invite you to submit your research abstract and participate in this exciting international event.

Lloyd Whitman OSTP, Executive Office of the President

Stefanie Harvey TE Connectivity

Piotr Grodzinski National Cancer Institute

Harriet Kung Department of Energy

Dorothee Martin Saint-Gobain

Lisa Friedersdorf National Nanotechnology Coordination Office

Ara Nazarian Harvard Medical School

Thomas Gillespie In-Q-Tel

Stefanie Harvey TE Connectivity

Rushan Sakhibgareev Chevron

Prantik Mazumder Corning

Prithwiraj Maitra Johnson and Johnson

Steven Zullo NIBIB/NIH

Martin Schoeppler FUJIFILM Dimatix

Mike Cameron Sherwin Williams

Loucas Tsakalakos GE Global Research

Johan Pluyter International Flavors & Fragrances

Mandakini Kanugo Xerox Innovation Group

Jessica Tucker NIBIB

Brent Segal Lockheed Martin

YuanQiao Rao The Dow Chemical Company

Paul Vogt Momentive

Nicole F. Steinmetz Case Western Reserve University

Imre Gyuk DOE

Marcellino Gemelli Bosch Sensortec

Susana Addo Ntim US FDA

Lewis Sloter DOD

Loucas Tsakalakos GE Global Research

Read the original post:

Nanotech 2017 – techconnectworld.com

Posted in Nanotech | Comments Off on Nanotech 2017 – techconnectworld.com

Virtual Reality Takes On the Videoconference – WSJ

Posted: at 7:12 pm

Sept. 18, 2016 10:06 p.m. ET

Get ready for your next conference callin virtual reality.

With equipment for virtual-reality viewing now on the consumer market, public tech companies and venture capitalists are exploring possible applications in everything from videogames to medicine. And some are betting that virtual-reality headsets could be the next big thing in business-meeting software, upending the dreaded videoconference call.

Some of virtual realitys potential as a meeting and collaboration tool is suggested in a video recently recorded at the NYU Media Research Lab. In the video, lab researchers strap on Samsung SSNHZ0.00% Gear VR headsets with antler-like sensors attached to thegoggles. The headsets usher the researchers into a virtual-realityenvironment in which they see digital avatars of themselves movingaround a simulated environment. Soon, using hand-held electronicwands, the researchers are drawing 3-D models together.

Ken Perlin, a computer-science professor at New York University anddirector of the research lab, has been studying collaboration inthe virtual world for the past two years, attempting to understandhow virtual reality might change societyincluding the workplace.

Of course were going to embrace any technology that makes us feel more connected, Prof. Perlin says.

A global survey of attitudes toward technology in the workplace suggests he may be right. The survey, in a report from Dell Inc., Intel Corp. INTC -0.05% and consultants Penn Schoen Berland, found that 57% ofemployees around the world prefer face-to-face conversations withcolleagues. But more than half said that better communicationstechnology could make such interactions obsolete in the future.Millennials particularly were open to using virtual- andaugmented-reality products at work, with 77% saying they would tryit.

Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of Stanford Universitys VirtualHuman Interaction Lab, says business calls using virtual-realitytechnology can offer many benefits over videoconferencing.

VR meetings will allow for nuanced nonverbal communicationproper eye contact, subtle cues such as interpersonal distance, and eventually virtual touch and smell (when desired), Prof. Bailenson writes in a recent email.

For most companies investing in the medium, virtual-reality meetings are still experimental. Employees from the Bank of Ireland BIR 0.00 % and National Grid NGG -0.16% PLC, the British utility, have tweeted about their earlysampling of virtual-reality meeting software. Mike Harlick, head ofthe Bank of Ireland Worklab, said to him it felt like the futureof collaboration.

Mr. Harlick told The Wall Street Journal that his firm has been experimenting with several virtual conferencing centers. He said he doesnt see virtual reality replacing video calls, but that it provides functions that other office collaboration tools do not offer. He said he thinks it will help his team be more effective in how they communicate.

In the context of office meetings you now have a whole virtual environment where you can co-create and interact, he wrote in an email. So you may have white boards on one wall, a shared document on another.

The National Grid employee who tweeted, David Goldsby, said a team he presented to was seriously impressed by the technology. However, he said the Wi-Fi in their hotel presented challenges. The company didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Still, for many companies, experts say virtual-reality meetings may offer real improvements over the typical videoconference experience.

Some of the earliest adopters are in videogaming and the virtual-reality industry itself. Neil Glenister, founder of a London-based gaming company called 232Studios, says his team has typically conducted lengthy weekly groupmeetings on Skype. But the team, he says, is tired ofvideoconferencing. It doesnt make them feel as if they are in thesame room, he says, and they have trouble seeing each others handgestures.

Instead, Mr. Glenister and his team recently tried an app called vTime, which allows people to meet in virtual environments using avatars. From a menu of possible settings, Mr. Glenister and his employees chose to meet in a simulation of outer space.

At times, he says, they struggled to focus on work-related topics because they were distracted by the planets surrounding them.

Still, he says, that sense of presence was really good. The dynamics of the calls through Skype werent as friendly.

Skype, which is owned by Microsoft Corp. MSFT -0.21% , didnt say if it has developed a virtual-realityapplication, but a spokesman says the company is testing the watersin augmented reality, a close cousin of virtual reality in which aviewer sees digital images imposed over real-world environments.Skype says it has developed an application for the HoloLens,Microsofts augmented-reality device that is currently onlyavailable to developers.

Something else that virtual reality provides that video calls typically dont: eye contact. Though theyre looking through their avatars eyes, participants in a virtual-reality meeting get the feeling they are making eye contact, says Eric Romo, chief executive of AltspaceVR Inc., a Redwood City,Calif., company that designs environments for virtual-realitymeetings using avatars. Some virtual-reality companies areexperimenting with eye-tracking technology that would allow thegoggles to better track users eye movements and convey even morerealistic eye contact.

In a typical video call, by contrast, a participant may think he or she is making eye contact, but to the other person they appear to be looking down. Instead of looking directly at each others image, you have to look into the camera for the other person to get the feeling you are looking into their eyes.

Other kinds of physical cues missing from most telecommunication may be incorporated into virtual-reality calls as well. While arms are frequently out of sight in video chats when people are sitting close to the camera, some virtual-reality headsets are able to capture arm and hand gestures that are then imitated by an avatar. Participants can get visual insights into group dynamics, as well, such as how close certain avatars stand to one another.

There are all these nonverbal cues we have physically that we dont have in [most] communication technologies except for VR, Mr. Romo says.

One of the biggest challenges today for companies creating meeting spaces in virtual reality is to make avatars that realistically capture and instantly reflect the users emotions. Some companies are putting transitional technologies, like emojis, into their virtual environments. But companies are experimenting with technologies that would allow avatars to capture facial expressions.

Another hurdle that technologists are addressing is capturing fine movements. With hand controllers, avatars can imitate simple gestures, like waving a hand. Researchers and businesses are pushing to capture finger movements.

Other impediments remain as well. Even if a person or a business invests in the equipment needed to hold a virtual-reality meeting, the equipment is still relatively rare. Others have to invest as well for meetings to be possible. Early headsets that use mobile phones also have very limited battery life, connectivity issues and can overheat.

If virtual-reality meetings do catch on, researchers are at odds over whether they will dramatically change the amount of business that people conduct in person. Prof. Bailenson says he believes that adoption of virtual-reality meetings will result in a major decline in commuting.

Prof. Perlin, meanwhile, says the impact of virtual-reality meetings will be similar to other communication technologies that have come before.

I think its important also to keep in mind when you look at historical trends, the more weve embraced new kinds of telecommunication media, things like Skype, the more weve traveled, he says. The more we feel connected to people, the more we want to physically be together.

Ms. Zakrzewski is a reporter in The Wall Street Journals San Francisco bureau. She can be reached at cat.zakrzewski@wsj.com.

More:

Virtual Reality Takes On the Videoconference – WSJ

Posted in Virtual Reality | Comments Off on Virtual Reality Takes On the Videoconference – WSJ

Dolly (sheep) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: September 18, 2016 at 8:23 am

Dolly (5 July 1996 14 February 2003) was a female domestic sheep, and the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer.[2][3] She was cloned by Sir Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and colleagues at the Roslin Institute, part of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the biotechnology company PPL Therapeutics, based near Edinburgh. The funding for Dolly’s cloning was provided by PPL Therapeutics and the UK’s Ministry of Agriculture.[4] She was born on 5 July 1996 and died from a progressive lung disease 5 months before her seventh birthday.[5] She has been called “the world’s most famous sheep” by sources including BBC News and Scientific American.[6][7]

The cell used as the donor for the cloning of Dolly was taken from a mammary gland, and the production of a healthy clone therefore proved that a cell taken from a specific part of the body could recreate a whole individual. On Dolly’s name, Wilmut stated “Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s”.[1]

Dolly was born on 5 July 1996 and had three mothers (one provided the egg, another the DNA and a third carried the cloned embryo to term).[8] She was created using the technique of somatic cell nuclear transfer, where the cell nucleus from an adult cell is transferred into an unfertilized oocyte (developing egg cell) that has had its cell nucleus removed. The hybrid cell is then stimulated to divide by an electric shock, and when it develops into a blastocyst it is implanted in a surrogate mother.[9] Dolly was the first clone produced from a cell taken from an adult mammal. The production of Dolly showed that genes in the nucleus of such a mature differentiated somatic cell are still capable of reverting to an embryonic totipotent state, creating a cell that can then go on to develop into any part of an animal.[10] Dolly’s existence was announced to the public on 22 February 1997.[1] It gained much attention in the media. A commercial with Scottish scientists playing with sheep was aired on TV, and a special report in TIME Magazine featured Dolly the sheep.[4]Science featured Dolly as the breakthrough of the year. Even though Dolly was not the first animal cloned, she received media attention because she was the first cloned from an adult cell.[11]

Dolly lived her entire life at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh. There she was bred with a Welsh Mountain ram and produced six lambs in total. Her first lamb, named Bonnie, was born in April 1998.[5] The next year Dolly produced twin lambs Sally and Rosie, and she gave birth to triplets Lucy, Darcy and Cotton in the year after that.[12] In late 2001, at the age of four, Dolly developed arthritis and began to walk stiffly. This was treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.[13]

On 14 February 2003, Dolly was euthanised because she had a progressive lung disease and severe arthritis.[14] A Finn Dorset such as Dolly has a life expectancy of around 11 to 12 years, but Dolly lived 6.5 years. A post-mortem examination showed she had a form of lung cancer called Jaagsiekte,[15] which is a fairly common disease of sheep and is caused by the retrovirus JSRV.[16] Roslin scientists stated that they did not think there was a connection with Dolly being a clone, and that other sheep in the same flock had died of the same disease.[14] Such lung diseases are a particular danger for sheep kept indoors, and Dolly had to sleep inside for security reasons.

Some in the press speculated that a contributing factor to Dolly’s death was that she could have been born with a genetic age of six years, the same age as the sheep from which she was cloned.[17] One basis for this idea was the finding that Dolly’s telomeres were short, which is typically a result of the aging process.[18][19] The Roslin Institute stated that intensive health screening did not reveal any abnormalities in Dolly that could have come from advanced aging.[17]

In 2016 scientists reported no defects in thirteen cloned sheep, including four from the same cell line as Dolly. The first study to review the long-term health outcomes of cloning, the authors found no evidence of late-onset, non-communicable diseases other than some minor examples of oseteoarthritis and concluded “We could find no evidence, therefore, of a detrimental long-term effect of cloning by SCNT on the health of aged offspring among our cohort.”[20][21]

After cloning was successfully demonstrated through the production of Dolly, many other large mammals were cloned, including pigs,[22][23]deer,[24]horses[25] and bulls.[26] The attempt to clone argali (mountain sheep) did not produce viable embryos. The attempt to clone a banteng bull was more successful, as were the attempts to clone mouflon (a form of wild sheep), both resulting in viable offspring.[27] The reprogramming process cells need to go through during cloning is not perfect and embryos produced by nuclear transfer often show abnormal development.[28][29] Making cloned mammals was highly inefficient in 1996 Dolly was the only lamb that survived to adulthood from 277 attempts. However, by 2014 Chinese scientists were reported to have 7080% success rates cloning pigs[23] and in 2016, a Korean company, Sooam Biotech was producing 500 cloned embryos a day.[30] Wilmut, who led the team that created Dolly, announced in 2007 that the nuclear transfer technique may never be sufficiently efficient for use in humans.[31]

Cloning may have uses in preserving endangered species and may become a viable tool for reviving extinct species.[32] In January 2009, scientists from the Centre of Food Technology and Research of Aragon, in northern Spain announced the cloning of the Pyrenean ibex, a form of wild mountain goat, which was officially declared extinct in 2000. Although the newborn ibex died shortly after birth due to physical defects in its lungs, it is the first time an extinct animal has been cloned, and may open doors for saving endangered and newly extinct species by resurrecting them from frozen tissue.[33][34]

In July, 2016, four identical clones of the Dolly sheep (Daisy, Debbie, Dianna and Denise) were alive and healthy at nine years old.[35][36]

Read the original post:

Dolly (sheep) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted in Cloning | Comments Off on Dolly (sheep) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Psoriasis causes and known triggers | National Psoriasis …

Posted: at 8:09 am

Scientists believe that at least 10 percent of people inherit one or more of the genes that could eventually lead to psoriasis. However, only 2 percent to 3 percent of the population develops the disease. Researchers believe that for a person to develop psoriasis, that person must have a combination of the genes that cause psoriasis and be exposed to specific external factors known as triggers.

Genes control everything about a person, from height to eye color. When genes are working normally, the body and its cells function normally. When a misstep occurs in the way a gene works, a genetic disease such as psoriasis may result.

Research into the genetics of psoriasis didnt begin until the early 1970s. Recently, it has exploded in scope, thanks to improvements in medical and genetic technology, and increased funding.

In 2006, the Foundation began collecting DNA samples for the National Psoriasis Victor Henschel BioBank. The BioBank is slated to be the worlds largest collection of psoriasis-related DNA in the world available to qualified researchers. The first BioBank DNA samples were released to researchers in 2010.

Scientists have now identified about 25 genetic variants that make a person more likely to develop psoriatic disease. At the University of Michigan, Dr. J.T. Elder and his team of researchers have identified several areas on the human genome where more than one gene may be involved in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

At the University of California-San Francisco, Dr. Wilson Liao is using new genetic sequencing technology to find rare “trigger genes” that may be the leading causes of psoriasis in certain individuals.

Working with DNA samples from a large family that includes many people with psoriasis, Anne Bowcock, Ph.D., a professor of genetics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has identified a gene mutation known as CARD14 that when triggered leads to plaque psoriasis.

At the University of Utah, Drs. Gerald Krueger and Kristina Callis Duffin have carefully catalogued the psoriasis of more than 1,200 patients. By comparing the genes of each individual to the way psoriasis shows up on his or her body, the team hopes to understand which genes are involved in specific types of disease.

Using a NPF Discovery grant, British researcher Francesca Capon found that a mutation to the gene called IL36RN might be involved in the three forms of pustular psoriasis.

Psoriasis triggers are not universal. What may cause one person’s psoriasis to become active, may not affect another. Established psoriasis triggers include:

Stress can cause psoriasis to flare for the first time or aggravate existing psoriasis. Relaxation and stress reduction may help prevent stress from impacting psoriasis.

Psoriasis can appear in areas of the skin that have been injured or traumatized. This is called the Koebner [KEB-ner] phenomenon. Vaccinations, sunburns and scratches can all trigger a Koebner response. The Koebner phenomenon can be treated if it is caught early enough.

Certain medications are associated with triggering psoriasis, including:

Anything that can affect the immune system can affect psoriasis. In particular, streptococcus infection (strep throat) is associated with guttate psoriasis. Strep throat often is triggers the first onset of guttate psoriasis in children. You may experience a flare-up following an earache, bronchitis, tonsillitis or a respiratory infection, too.

It’s not unusual for someone to have an active psoriasis flare with no strep throat symptoms. Talk with your doctor about getting a strep throat test if your psoriasis flares.

Although scientifically unproven, some people with psoriasis suspect that allergies, diet and weather trigger their psoriasis.

NPF’s Patient Navigation Center is the world’s first, personalized support center for psoriatic disease. Our Patient Navigatorscan answer your questions about flare-ups,help you better manage your symptoms and support your journey to a healthy life with psoriasis.

For free and confidential assistance, contact our Patient Navigators

Continue reading here:
Psoriasis causes and known triggers | National Psoriasis …

Posted in Psoriasis | Comments Off on Psoriasis causes and known triggers | National Psoriasis …

Cloning Fact Sheet

Posted: September 11, 2016 at 5:26 pm

Cloning What is cloning?

The term cloning describes a number of different processes that can be used to produce genetically identical copies of a biological entity. The copied material, which has the same genetic makeup as the original, is referred to as a clone.

Researchers have cloned a wide range of biological materials, including genes, cells, tissues and even entire organisms, such as a sheep.

Top of page

Yes. In nature, some plants and single-celled organisms, such as bacteria, produce genetically identical offspring through a process called asexual reproduction. In asexual reproduction, a new individual is generated from a copy of a single cell from the parent organism.

Natural clones, also known as identical twins, occur in humans and other mammals. These twins are produced when a fertilized egg splits, creating two or more embryos that carry almost identical DNA. Identical twins have nearly the same genetic makeup as each other, but they are genetically different from either parent.

Top of page

There are three different types of artificial cloning: gene cloning, reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning.

Gene cloning produces copies of genes or segments of DNA. Reproductive cloning produces copies of whole animals. Therapeutic cloning produces embryonic stem cells for experiments aimed at creating tissues to replace injured or diseased tissues.

Gene cloning, also known as DNA cloning, is a very different process from reproductive and therapeutic cloning. Reproductive and therapeutic cloning share many of the same techniques, but are done for different purposes.

Top of page

Gene cloning is the most common type of cloning done by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). NHGRI researchers have not cloned any mammals and NHGRI does not clone humans.

Top of page

Researchers routinely use cloning techniques to make copies of genes that they wish to study. The procedure consists of inserting a gene from one organism, often referred to as “foreign DNA,” into the genetic material of a carrier called a vector. Examples of vectors include bacteria, yeast cells, viruses or plasmids, which are small DNA circles carried by bacteria. After the gene is inserted, the vector is placed in laboratory conditions that prompt it to multiply, resulting in the gene being copied many times over.

Top of page

In reproductive cloning, researchers remove a mature somatic cell, such as a skin cell, from an animal that they wish to copy. They then transfer the DNA of the donor animal’s somatic cell into an egg cell, or oocyte, that has had its own DNA-containing nucleus removed.

Researchers can add the DNA from the somatic cell to the empty egg in two different ways. In the first method, they remove the DNA-containing nucleus of the somatic cell with a needle and inject it into the empty egg. In the second approach, they use an electrical current to fuse the entire somatic cell with the empty egg.

In both processes, the egg is allowed to develop into an early-stage embryo in the test-tube and then is implanted into the womb of an adult female animal.

ltimately, the adult female gives birth to an animal that has the same genetic make up as the animal that donated the somatic cell. This young animal is referred to as a clone. Reproductive cloning may require the use of a surrogate mother to allow development of the cloned embryo, as was the case for the most famous cloned organism, Dolly the sheep.

Top of page

Over the last 50 years, scientists have conducted cloning experiments in a wide range of animals using a variety of techniques. In 1979, researchers produced the first genetically identical mice by splitting mouse embryos in the test tube and then implanting the resulting embryos into the wombs of adult female mice. Shortly after that, researchers produced the first genetically identical cows, sheep and chickens by transferring the nucleus of a cell taken from an early embryo into an egg that had been emptied of its nucleus.

It was not until 1996, however, that researchers succeeded in cloning the first mammal from a mature (somatic) cell taken from an adult animal. After 276 attempts, Scottish researchers finally produced Dolly, the lamb from the udder cell of a 6-year-old sheep. Two years later, researchers in Japan cloned eight calves from a single cow, but only four survived.

Besides cattle and sheep, other mammals that have been cloned from somatic cells include: cat, deer, dog, horse, mule, ox, rabbit and rat. In addition, a rhesus monkey has been cloned by embryo splitting.

Top of page

Despite several highly publicized claims, human cloning still appears to be fiction. There currently is no solid scientific evidence that anyone has cloned human embryos.

In 1998, scientists in South Korea claimed to have successfully cloned a human embryo, but said the experiment was interrupted very early when the clone was just a group of four cells. In 2002, Clonaid, part of a religious group that believes humans were created by extraterrestrials, held a news conference to announce the birth of what it claimed to be the first cloned human, a girl named Eve. However, despite repeated requests by the research community and the news media, Clonaid never provided any evidence to confirm the existence of this clone or the other 12 human clones it purportedly created.

In 2004, a group led by Woo-Suk Hwang of Seoul National University in South Korea published a paper in the journal Science in which it claimed to have created a cloned human embryo in a test tube. However, an independent scientific committee later found no proof to support the claim and, in January 2006, Science announced that Hwang’s paper had been retracted.

From a technical perspective, cloning humans and other primates is more difficult than in other mammals. One reason is that two proteins essential to cell division, known as spindle proteins, are located very close to the chromosomes in primate eggs. Consequently, removal of the egg’s nucleus to make room for the donor nucleus also removes the spindle proteins, interfering with cell division. In other mammals, such as cats, rabbits and mice, the two spindle proteins are spread throughout the egg. So, removal of the egg’s nucleus does not result in loss of spindle proteins. In addition, some dyes and the ultraviolet light used to remove the egg’s nucleus can damage the primate cell and prevent it from growing.

Top of page

No. Clones do not always look identical. Although clones share the same genetic material, the environment also plays a big role in how an organism turns out.

For example, the first cat to be cloned, named Cc, is a female calico cat that looks very different from her mother. The explanation for the difference is that the color and pattern of the coats of cats cannot be attributed exclusively to genes. A biological phenomenon involving inactivation of the X chromosome (See sex chromosome) in every cell of the female cat (which has two X chromosomes) determines which coat color genes are switched off and which are switched on. The distribution of X inactivation, which seems to occur randomly, determines the appearance of the cat’s coat.

Top of page

Reproductive cloning may enable researchers to make copies of animals with the potential benefits for the fields of medicine and agriculture.

For instance, the same Scottish researchers who cloned Dolly have cloned other sheep that have been genetically modified to produce milk that contains a human protein essential for blood clotting. The hope is that someday this protein can be purified from the milk and given to humans whose blood does not clot properly. Another possible use of cloned animals is for testing new drugs and treatment strategies. The great advantage of using cloned animals for drug testing is that they are all genetically identical, which means their responses to the drugs should be uniform rather than variable as seen in animals with different genetic make-ups.

After consulting with many independent scientists and experts in cloning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided in January 2008 that meat and milk from cloned animals, such as cattle, pigs and goats, are as safe as those from non-cloned animals. The FDA action means that researchers are now free to using cloning methods to make copies of animals with desirable agricultural traits, such as high milk production or lean meat. However, because cloning is still very expensive, it will likely take many years until food products from cloned animals actually appear in supermarkets.

Another application is to create clones to build populations of endangered, or possibly even extinct, species of animals. In 2001, researchers produced the first clone of an endangered species: a type of Asian ox known as a guar. Sadly, the baby guar, which had developed inside a surrogate cow mother, died just a few days after its birth. In 2003, another endangered type of ox, called the Banteg, was successfully cloned. Soon after, three African wildcats were cloned using frozen embryos as a source of DNA. Although some experts think cloning can save many species that would otherwise disappear, others argue that cloning produces a population of genetically identical individuals that lack the genetic variability necessary for species survival.

Some people also have expressed interest in having their deceased pets cloned in the hope of getting a similar animal to replace the dead one. But as shown by Cc the cloned cat, a clone may not turn out exactly like the original pet whose DNA was used to make the clone.

Top of page

Reproductive cloning is a very inefficient technique and most cloned animal embryos cannot develop into healthy individuals. For instance, Dolly was the only clone to be born live out of a total of 277 cloned embryos. This very low efficiency, combined with safety concerns, presents a serious obstacle to the application of reproductive cloning.

Researchers have observed some adverse health effects in sheep and other mammals that have been cloned. These include an increase in birth size and a variety of defects in vital organs, such as the liver, brain and heart. Other consequences include premature aging and problems with the immune system. Another potential problem centers on the relative age of the cloned cell’s chromosomes. As cells go through their normal rounds of division, the tips of the chromosomes, called telomeres, shrink. Over time, the telomeres become so short that the cell can no longer divide and, consequently, the cell dies. This is part of the natural aging process that seems to happen in all cell types. As a consequence, clones created from a cell taken from an adult might have chromosomes that are already shorter than normal, which may condemn the clones’ cells to a shorter life span. Indeed, Dolly, who was cloned from the cell of a 6-year-old sheep, had chromosomes that were shorter than those of other sheep her age. Dolly died when she was six years old, about half the average sheep’s 12-year lifespan.

Top of page

Therapeutic cloning involves creating a cloned embryo for the sole purpose of producing embryonic stem cells with the same DNA as the donor cell. These stem cells can be used in experiments aimed at understanding disease and developing new treatments for disease. To date, there is no evidence that human embryos have been produced for therapeutic cloning.

The richest source of embryonic stem cells is tissue formed during the first five days after the egg has started to divide. At this stage of development, called the blastocyst, the embryo consists of a cluster of about 100 cells that can become any cell type. Stem cells are harvested from cloned embryos at this stage of development, resulting in destruction of the embryo while it is still in the test tube.

Top of page

Researchers hope to use embryonic stem cells, which have the unique ability to generate virtually all types of cells in an organism, to grow healthy tissues in the laboratory that can be used replace injured or diseased tissues. In addition, it may be possible to learn more about the molecular causes of disease by studying embryonic stem cell lines from cloned embryos derived from the cells of animals or humans with different diseases. Finally, differentiated tissues derived from ES cells are excellent tools to test new therapeutic drugs.

Top of page

Many researchers think it is worthwhile to explore the use of embryonic stem cells as a path for treating human diseases. However, some experts are concerned about the striking similarities between stem cells and cancer cells. Both cell types have the ability to proliferate indefinitely and some studies show that after 60 cycles of cell division, stem cells can accumulate mutations that could lead to cancer. Therefore, the relationship between stem cells and cancer cells needs to be more clearly understood if stem cells are to be used to treat human disease.

Top of page

Gene cloning is a carefully regulated technique that is largely accepted today and used routinely in many labs worldwide. However, both reproductive and therapeutic cloning raise important ethical issues, especially as related to the potential use of these techniques in humans.

Reproductive cloning would present the potential of creating a human that is genetically identical to another person who has previously existed or who still exists. This may conflict with long-standing religious and societal values about human dignity, possibly infringing upon principles of individual freedom, identity and autonomy. However, some argue that reproductive cloning could help sterile couples fulfill their dream of parenthood. Others see human cloning as a way to avoid passing on a deleterious gene that runs in the family without having to undergo embryo screening or embryo selection.

Therapeutic cloning, while offering the potential for treating humans suffering from disease or injury, would require the destruction of human embryos in the test tube. Consequently, opponents argue that using this technique to collect embryonic stem cells is wrong, regardless of whether such cells are used to benefit sick or injured people.

Top of page

Last Reviewed: May 11, 2016

Link:

Cloning Fact Sheet

Posted in Cloning | Comments Off on Cloning Fact Sheet

Alternative medicine – Psychology Wiki – Wikia

Posted: at 5:25 pm

Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social | Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Clinical: Approaches Group therapy Techniques Types of problem Areas of specialism Taxonomies Therapeutic issues Modes of delivery Model translation project Personal experiences

Alternative medicine describes practices used in place of conventional medical treatments. Complementary medicine describes practices used in conjunction and cooperation with conventional medicine, to assist the existing process. The term complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is an umbrella term for both branches. CAM includes practices that incorporate spiritual, metaphysical, or religious underpinnings; non-European medical traditions, or newly developed approaches to healing.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines complementary and alternative medicine as “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine”. It also defines integrative medicine as “[combining] mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness”.[1] Ralph Snyderman and Andrew Weil state “integrative medicine is not synonymous with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It has a far larger meaning and mission in that it calls for restoration of the focus of medicine on health and healing and emphasizes the centrality of the patient-physician relationship”.[2]

The list of therapies included under CAM changes gradually. If and when CAM therapies that are proven to be safe and effective become adopted into conventional health care, they gradually cease to be considered CAM, since adoption and acceptance often take time.

The terms “alternative medicine”, “complementary medicine” and “CAM” are generally understood in terms of their relationship to mainstream medicine, as described above.[3]

Other definitions exist that are based on or include other criteria.

Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, takes exception to the above definition and relies on an “evidence-based” (EBM) definition, based on its relation to scientifically proven evidence of efficacy (or lack thereof). Angell states that “…since many alternative remedies have recently found their way into the medical mainstream [there] cannot be two kinds of medicine – conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may not work. Once a treatment has been tested rigorously, it no longer matters whether it was considered alternative at the outset. If it is found to be reasonably safe and effective, it will be accepted.”[4]

Others like George D. Lundberg, former editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and Phil B. Fontanarosa, Senior Editor of JAMA, share Angell’s use of an EBM definition. “There is no alternative medicine. There is only scientifically proven, evidence-based medicine supported by solid data or unproven medicine, for which scientific evidence is lacking. Whether a therapeutic practice is ‘Eastern’ or ‘Western,’ is unconventional or mainstream, or involves mind-body techniques or molecular genetics is largely irrelevant except for historical purposes and cultural interest. As believers in science and evidence, we must focus on fundamental issues-namely, the patient, the target disease or condition, the proposed or practiced treatment, and the need for convincing data on safety and therapeutic efficacy.”[5]

Richard Dawkins, Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford,[6] also uses an EBM definition, defining alternative medicine as a “…set of practices which cannot be tested, refuse to be tested, or consistently fail tests. If a healing technique is demonstrated to have curative properties in properly controlled double-blind trials, it ceases to be alternative. It simply…becomes medicine.”[7] He also states that “There is no alternative medicine. There is only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t work.”[8]

These three commentators use a definition that is based on the objectively verifiable criteria of the scientific method, not one based on the changing curricula of various medical schools. According to them it is possible for a method to change categories (main stream vs. alternative) in either direction, based on increased knowledge of its effectiveness or lack thereof.

Well-known proponents of evidence-based medicine who study CAM, such as the Cochrane Collaboration and Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, have retained CAM’s generally-accepted (social) definition and do not define CAM as Dawkins, Angell and others do. Still, in their view, there can be “good CAM” or “bad CAM” based on evidentiary support.[9][10][11]

Similarly, David M. Eisenberg relies on a “usage-based” definition, based on its inclusion in medical school curricula, and defines it as “medical interventions not taught widely at U.S. medical schools or generally available at U.S. hospitals.”[12]

Additionally, what in the West is considered “alternative” medicine may elsewhere be considered “traditional medicine” – for example Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.

The Alma-Alta declaration defines its strategy as “Health for All by 2000 A.D.” through primary health care. This is in pursuance of the aims declared at the WHO/ UNICEF sponsored conference at Alma-Alta, USSR. Primary health care has been described as “essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially accepted methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and the families in the community through their full participation and at a cost that a community and country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self reliance and self determination”. Subsequently, the Alma-Alta declaration outlined that primary health care is based on training and scientific orientation provided to health care workers including physicians, nurses, midwives, auxiliary and community workers and traditional medical practitioners. Therefore, Medicina Alternativa has established guidelines and regulations outlining the code of ethics that healers are expected to follow consequent to their training, certification and membership of Medicina Alternativa.

http://cbs5.com/health/health_story_052150403.html http://cbs5.com/health/health_story_052150403.html http://cbs5.com/health/health_story_052150403.html http://cbs5.com/health/health_story_052150403.html AND http://allafrica.com/stories/200702211138.html http://allafrica.com/stories/200702211138.html http://allafrica.com/stories/200702211138.html http://allafrica.com/stories/200702211138.html

Jurisdiction differs concerning which branches of alternative medicine are legal, which are regulated, and which (if any) are provided by a government-controlled health service or reimbursed by a private health medical insurance company.

A number of alternative medicine advocates disagree with the restrictions of government agencies that approve medical treatments (such as the American Food and Drug Administration) and the agencies’ adherence to experimental evaluation methods. They claim that this impedes those seeking to bring useful and effective treatments and approaches to the public, and protest that their contributions and discoveries are unfairly dismissed, overlooked or suppressed. Alternative medicine providers often argue that health fraud should be dealt with appropriately when it occurs.

In India, which is the home of several alternative systems of medicines, Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, and Homeopathy are licenced by the government. Naturopathy will also be licensed soon because several Universities now offer bachelors degrees in it. Other activities connected with AM/CM, such as Panchakarma and massage therapy related to Ayurveda are also licenced by the government now.

Alternative systems of medicine in India do not have scientific decodation and standardization, so people has hasgitation to accept all therapies. same time persons who are angaged with practice of alternative medicine, those people also do practice of allopathic system of medicine. (Raju Dangar)

Edzard Ernst wrote in the Medical Journal of Australia that “about half the general population in developed countries use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)”.[13] A survey released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health in the United States, found that in 2002, 36% of Americans used some form of alternative therapy in the past 12 months a category that included yoga, meditation, herbal treatments and the Atkins diet.[14] If prayer was counted as an alternative therapy, the figure rose to 62.1%. Another study suggests a similar figure of 40%.[15] A British telephone survey by the BBC of 1209 adults in 1998 shows that around 20% of adults in Britain had used alternative medicine in the past 12 months.[How to reference and link to summary or text]

The use of alternative medicine appears to be increasing, as a 1998 study showed that the use of alternative medicine had risen from 33.8% in 1990 to 42.1% in 1997.[16] In the United Kingdom, a 2000 report ordered by the House of Lords suggested that “…limited data seem to support the idea that CAM use in the United Kingdom is high and is increasing.”[17]

Increasing numbers of medical colleges have begun offering courses in alternative medicine. For example, the University of Arizona College of Medicine offers a program in Integrative Medicine under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Weil which trains physicians in various branches of alternative medicine which “…neither rejects conventional medicine, nor embraces alternative practices uncritically.”[18] In three separate research surveys that surveyed 729 schools in the United States (125 medical schools offering an MD degree, 19 medical schools offering a Doctor of Osteopathy degree, and 585 schools offering a nursing degree), 60% of the Allopathic medical schools, 95% of Osteopathic medical schools and 84.8% of the nursing schools teach some form of CAM.[19][20][21] A number of independent and private institutions offering courses in alternative medicine have also emerged, including the Upledger Institute and the International Alliance of Healthcare Educators (IAHE). Accredited Naturopathic colleges and universities are increasing in number and popularity in the U.S.A. They offer the most complete medical training in complimentary medicines that is available today[How to reference and link to summary or text]. See Naturopathic medicine.

In the UK, no medical schools offer courses that teach the clinical practice of alternative medicine. However, alternative medicine is taught in several schools as part of the curriculum. Teaching is based mostly on theory and understanding alternative medicine, with emphasis on being able to communicate with alternative medicine specialists. To obtain competence in practicing clinical alternative medicine, qualifications must be obtained from individual medical societies. The student must have graduated and be a qualified doctor. The British Medical Acupuncture Society, which offers medical acupuncture certificates to doctors, is one such example, as is the College of Naturopathic Medicine UK and Ireland.

The NCCAM surveyed the American public on complementary and alternative medicine use in 2002. According to the survey:[22]

Advocates of alternative medicine hold that alternative therapies often provide the public with services not available from conventional medicine. This argument covers a range of areas, such as patient empowerment, alternative methods of pain management, treatment methods that support the biopsychosocial model of health, stress reduction services, other preventive health services that are not typically a part of conventional medicine, and of course complementary medicine’s palliative care which is practiced by such world renowned cancer centers such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering.[23]

Advocates of alternative medicine hold that the various alternative treatment methods are effective in treating a wide range of major and minor medical conditions, and contend that recently published research (such as Michalsen, 2003,[24] Gonsalkorale 2003,[25] and Berga 2003[26]) proves the effectiveness of specific alternative treatments. They assert that a PubMed search revealed over 370,000 research papers classified as alternative medicine published in Medline-recognized journals since 1966 in the National Library of Medicine database. See also Kleijnen 1991,[27] and Linde 1997.[28]

Advocates of alternative medicine hold that alternative medicine may provide health benefits through patient empowerment, by offering more choices to the public, including treatments that are simply not available in conventional medicine:

It must be added though that most practitioners do not hold a degree in official medicine or even have a solid understanding of scientific principles, as can be deduced from many of their publications. And, of course, the fact of providing more choice has no bearing whatsoever as to the efficacy of the proposed treatment.

Although advocates of alternative medicine acknowledge that the placebo effect may play a role in the benefits that some receive from alternative therapies, they point out that this does not diminish their validity. Researchers who judge treatments using the scientific method are concerned by this viewpoint, since, according to standard controlled studies, it is an acknowledgement of the inefficacy of alternative treatments.

A major objection to alternative medicine is that it may be done in place of conventional medical treatments. As long as alternative treatments are used alongside standard conventional medical treatments, most medical doctors find most forms of complementary medicine acceptable. Consistent with previous studies, the CDC recently reported that the majority of individuals in the United States (i.e., 54.9%) used CAM in conjunction with conventional medicine.[How to reference and link to summary or text]

Patients should however always inform their medical doctor they are using alternative medicine. Some patients do not tell their medical doctors since they fear it will hurt their patient-doctor relationship. Some alternative treatments may interact with orthodox medical treatments, and ideally, such conflicts should be explored in the interest of the patient. However, many conventional practitioners are biased or uninformed about alternatives, and the exhortations to disclose alternative treatments to one’s doctor do not address the complexities involved.

The issue of alternative medicine interfering with conventional medical practices is minimized when it is only turned to after the conventional medicine path has been exhausted. Many patients believe alternative medicine can help in coping with chronic illnesses for which conventional medicine offers no cure and only management. It is becoming more common for a patient’s own MD to suggest alternatives when they cannot offer a treatment.

See also List of branches of alternative medicine for specific criticisms of different types of CAM

Due to the wide range of therapies that are considered to be “alternative medicine” few criticisms apply across the board, except possibly that of not being scientifically supported or even testable. Criticisms directed at specific branches of alternative medicine range from the fairly minor (conventional treament is believed to be more effective in a particular area) to incompatibility with the known laws of physics (for example, in homeopathy). Critics argue that alternative medicine practitioners may not have an accredited medical degree or be licensed physicians or general practitioners and make sweeping claims without demonstrated expertise. This cannot always be considered a serious criticism, because unless a new system of medicine becomes established, it does not receive accreditation of any kind, except by its own professional organizations. This is the route homeopathy, ayurveda, siddha, unani, and naturopathy had to follow in those countries where it is now offered by accredited institutions. Proponents of the various forms of alternative medicine reject criticism as being founded in prejudice, financial self-interest, or ignorance. Refutations of criticism sometimes take the form of an appeal to nature.

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) applies the scientific method to medical practice, and aims for the ideal that healthcare professionals should make “conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence” in their everyday practice. Prof. Edzard Ernst is a notable proponent of applying EBM to CAM.

Although proponents of alternative medicine often cite the large number of studies which have been performed, critics point out the fact that there are no statistics on exactly how many of these studies were controlled, double-blind peer-reviewed experiments or how many produced results supporting alternative medicine or parts thereof. They contend that many forms of alternative medicine are rejected by conventional medicine because the efficacy of the treatments has not been demonstrated through double-blind randomized controlled trials; this is not a moot point, since all conventional drugs reach the market only after such trials have proved their efficacy. One is led to wonder why whole categories of drugs or treatments should be excused from these routine tests. Also, some skeptics of alternative practices point out that a person may attribute symptomatic relief to an otherwise ineffective therapy due to the natural recovery from or the cyclical nature of an illness (the regression fallacy), the placebo effect, or the possibility that the person never originally had a true illness.[30]

Critics contend that observer bias and poor study design invalidate the results of many studies carried out by alternative medicine promoters.

A review of the effectiveness of certain alternative medicine techniques for cancer treatment,[23] while finding that most of these treatments are not merely “unproven” but are proven not to work, notes that several studies have found evidence that the psychosocial treatment of patients by psychologists is linked to survival advantages (although it comments that these results are not consistently replicated). The same review, while specifically noting that “complementary therapies for cancer-related symptoms were not part of this review”, cites studies indicating that several complementary therapies can provide benefits by, for example, reducing pain and improving the mood of patients.

Some argue that less research is carried out on alternative medicine because many alternative medicine techniques cannot be patented, and hence there is little financial incentive to study them. Drug research, by contrast, can be very lucrative, which has resulted in funding of trials by pharmaceutical companies. Many people, including conventional and alternative medical practitioners, contend that this funding has led to corruption of the scientific process for approval of drug usage, and that ghostwritten work has appeared in major peer-reviewed medical journals.[31][32] Increasing the funding for research of alternative medicine techniques was the purpose of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. NCCAM and its predecessor, the Office of Alternative Medicine, have spent more than $200 million on such research since 1991. The German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices Commission E has studied many herbal remedies for efficacy.[33]

Critics contend that some people have been hurt or killed directly from the various practices or indirectly by failed diagnoses or the subsequent avoidance of conventional medicine which they believe is truly efficacious.

Alternative medicine critics agree with its proponents that people should be free to choose whatever method of healthcare they want, but stipulate that people must be informed as to the safety and efficacy of whatever method they choose. People who choose alternative medicine may think they are choosing a safe, effective medicine, while they may only be getting quack remedies. Grapefruit seed extract is an example of quackery when multiple studies demonstrate its universal antimicrobial effect is due to synthetic antimicrobial contamination.[34][35][36][37][38]

They state that those who have had success with one alternative therapy for a minor ailment may be convinced of its efficacy and persuaded to extrapolate that success to some other alternative therapy for a more serious, possibly life-threatening illness. For this reason, they contend that therapies that rely on the placebo effect to define success are very dangerous.

A Norwegian multicentre study examined the association between the use of alternative medicines (AM) and cancer survival. 515 patients using standard medical care for cancer were followed for eight years. 22% of those patients used AM concurrently with their standard care. The study revealed that death rates were 30% higher in AM users than in those who did not use AM: “The use of AM seems to predict a shorter survival from cancer.”[39]

Associate Professor Alastair MacLennan of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Adelaide University, Australia reports that a patient of his almost bled to death on the operating table. She had failed to mention she had been taking “natural” potions to “build up her strength” for the operation – one of them turned out to be a powerful anticoagulant which nearly caused her death.[How to reference and link to summary or text]

Conventional treatments are thoroughly checked for undesired side-effects, whereas alternative treatments are normally not. Any alternative treatment that has a biological or psychological impact may also have potentially dangerous biological or psychological side-effects. Attempts to refute this sometimes use the appeal to nature fallacy, i.e. “that which is natural cannot be harmful”.

Ironically, a therapy such as homeopathy which, in the eyes of all known physics and chemistry, cannot possibly have more effect on the patient than simple water does, is surely safe from all side effects considerations.

Similar problems as those related to self-medication also apply to parts of alternative medicine. For example, an alternative medicine may instantly make problems better, but actually worsen problems in the long run. The result may be addiction[How to reference and link to summary or text] and deteriorating health.

Critics contend that some branches of alternative medicine are often not properly regulated in some countries to identify who practices or know what training or expertise they may possess. Critics argue that the governmental regulation of any particular alternative therapy does necessitate that the therapy is effective. The most sensible course in such a case could be to simply ensure that the sold treatment is not dangerous, but the problem would then remain to know if it does what its proponents say it does.

Integrative medicine is a branch of alternative medicine which limits itself to methods with strong scientific evidence of efficacy and safety. The main proponent of integrative medicine is Andrew T. Weil M.D., who founded the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in 1994 based on a phrase coined by Elson Haas, MD. Responsible alternative health product providers who have had medical studies conducted on their products often publish these studies online. Even so, it is wise to ask for a list of the ingredients used in the products you are considering purchasing.

Read the original post:

Alternative medicine – Psychology Wiki – Wikia

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Comments Off on Alternative medicine – Psychology Wiki – Wikia

Alternative Treatments for High Blood Pressure – WebMD

Posted: at 5:25 pm

There are many different types of complementary and alternative treatments believed to be effective for treating high blood pressure (hypertension). Scientific evidence indicates that a diet that is low in saturated fat and salt and rich in complex carbohydrates (vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits), increased physical activity, and regular practice of relaxation techniques such as yoga, Tai Chi, or Qigong, can help to lower high blood pressure.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to lower your blood pressure is to eat a healthy diet, such as the DASH diet. Doctors recommend:

A solid body of evidence shows that men and women of all age groups who are physically active have a decreased risk of developing high blood pressure. Findings from multiple studies indicate that exercise can lower blood pressure as much as some drugs can. People with mild and moderately elevated blood pressure who exercise 30 to 60 minutes three to four days per week (walking, jogging, cycling, or a combination) may be able to significantly decrease their blood pressure readings.

Blood pressure increases when a person is under emotional stress and tension, but whether or not psychological interventions aimed at stress reduction can decrease blood pressure in patients with hypertension is not clear.

Nevertheless, recent studies suggest that ancient relaxation methods that include controlled breathing and gentle physical activity, such as yoga, Qigong, and Tai Chi, are beneficial. People with mild hypertension who practiced these healing techniques daily for two to three months experienced significant decreases in their blood pressure, had lower levels of stress hormones, and were less anxious.

The results of a recent small study suggest that a daily practice of slow breathing (15 minutes a day for 8 weeks) brought about a substantial reduction in blood pressure. However, these findings need to be confirmed in larger and better-designed studies before these ancient healing techniques are recommended as effective non-pharmacological approaches to treating hypertension. Still, possible benefits, coupled with minimal risks, make these gentle practices a worthwhile activity to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle.

Note: It is important that inactive older people or those with chronic health problems be evaluated by their doctor before starting a program of any physical activity, including Tai Chi, Qigong, or yoga.

The effectiveness and safety of herbal therapies, such as Rauwolfia serpentina (snakeroot), Stephania tetrandra (tetrandrine), Panax notoginseng (ginseng), and Crataegus species (hawthorn) for treating high blood pressure have not been extensively studied. Because of potential health risks associated with these herbs, it is imperative that you inform your doctor if you plan to use or are already using them. This is even more important if these herbs are used in combination with high blood pressure drugs. Some herbs, such as licorice, ephedra (Ma Huang), and yohimbine (from the bark of a West African tree) should not be used by people with hypertension, because they can increase blood pressure.

Some supplements have been evaluated as blood pressure-lowering options, including:

Talk to your doctor before starting any medication, including these supplements, which may be available without a prescription. The risks and benefits of every medicine (including over-the-counter drugs) must be carefully weighed on an individual basis.

Extensive research on the effectiveness of acupuncture for lowering blood pressure has been reported, but many studies have considerable weaknesses. More rigorously controlled research is needed to determine the value of acupuncture as a treatment for hypertension. At this time, there is no evidence that acupuncture reliably lowers high blood pressure.

SOURCE: University of Maryland Medical Center.

See the rest here:

Alternative Treatments for High Blood Pressure – WebMD

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Comments Off on Alternative Treatments for High Blood Pressure – WebMD